Dining at a fancy restaurant on Valentine's Day isn't for everyone. Some people — especially singles — might prefer the familiar feel of a dive-y place full of regulars who may or may not need to engage in drinking conversation. Cheap booze flows all night at these low-key watering holes, and visitors shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to secure a seat.Read More
Where to Drink Solo on Valentine’s Day in D.C.
15 dive-y places free of sappy nonsense
Quarry House Tavern
This iconic Silver Spring basement bar is covered in wood and devoid of natural light. Spin a favorite song on the vintage jukebox, grab an essential burger and a cold beer, and let the chaos of the day fade away.
Belly up to the bar at Lyman’s for frosty pints of cut-rate beer, free popcorn, and fully dressed hot dogs. Got money to burn? Hit the pinball machines in back.
Head underground and get a Valentine’s Day distraction with pool, darts, shuffleboard and one of the city’s best classic jukeboxes. Come on a full stomach though — the only food offered here comes in a bag of chips.
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Time is running out to knock back buy-one-get-one happy hour drinks at this no-frills Petworth hangout. The bar announced it will close in April 2020 after eight years of businesses. Pair rounds of drinks with a spicy grilled chicken or crispy pork belly sandwich, or maybe a plate of black bean dip or fries.
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Mount Pleasant's Raven Grill — it doesn't actually serve food — is one of the oldest bars in D.C. It's cheap, and its jukebox is well-worn.
Breadsoda Bar, Deli & Billiards
Grab a group of friends for shuffleboard, pool, and board games at this Glover Park basement bar. The kitchen has a broad selection of hot and cold sandwiches along with soups and appetizers like hummus and charcuterie. Craft beers and cocktails come at fair prices, especially during happy hour.
Gina Chersevani knows a thing or two about mixing cocktails, and she channels that into a New Orleans vibe at this garage-themed hangout. Beer and rail drinks are cheap, as is the draft old fashioned ($6). For something fancier, try the Erin Rose, a frozen iced coffee made with a Green Chartreuse float.
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The underground location is only part of the appeal of this after-work spot downtown. There’s also the carpet, the karaoke, the happy hour, and the puzzling decor. Happy hour specials include $4 rail drinks, 28-ounce “King Kong” drafts for $5, and $5 appetizers.
Come here for outlandishly goth decor, the trippy decor, and an endless supply of PBR tallboys.
Go to this dark, dank bar adjacent to the site of the former Washington Post building (now the sparkling, mixed-use Midtown Center) for domestic drafts and bacon and cheese “Diplomat” burgers under $10. — Gabe Hiatt
Regulars have been enjoying stiff drinks — think pint glasses full of liquor flanked by mini-carafes of mixers — at Stan’s for decades.
Valentine’s Day. Arbor Day. Judgement Day. It’s all the same to Atlas District standby the Pug. There’s beer, liquor, and some snacks in the vending machines.
Centrally located to downtown D.C., this hard-to-spot bar is a collaboration between Pug owner Tony Tomelden and Solly’s owner John Solomon. Expect cold beer, a cocktail on tap, and no food.
This Arlington mainstay is home to draft beers, assorted grilled cheese sandwiches, tater tots, and local music.
This bar got a little cleaner and a little classier after a post-fire renovation, but there's still taxidermy decorations, cheap beer and all-day breakfast.